Very rarely are these strange creatures seen in the Red Sea but this month there have been several sightings already, everywhere from the Dunraven to the House Reef.
Identified by some as a Bowmouth Wedgefish, the more commonly named Guitar Shark has spiny ridges running along the body, adding to the ‘pre-historic’ look.
These guys are normally seen swimming just above the bottom in the same way that stingrays do.
At a maximum length of around 2.7m, these heavily built guys can weigh in at over 135kg. Their diet consists of shrimps, crabs and shellfish, so should you come across one, you are safe to approach for a photo… That’s just what Matt did to get this excellent photo last week!
They are normally nocturnal hunters, which may explain the infrequent sightings by divers.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has classified the Guitar Fish as “Vulnerable” although its only known naturally occurring predator is the Tiger Shark, meaning that it is humans who are leading to the demise of this species.
However, the species fares very well in captivity and has been successfully bred this way in a facility the US, with hopes that other countries will follow suit.